Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu

Description of Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu


Hyoho Niten Ichi-Ryu is the name used to refer to Miyamoto Musashi's Niten Ichi-Ryu. It is a name that he was said to have given the style towards the end of his life. Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese swordsman and ronin who was renowned through the stories about his duels where he showcased excellent swordsmanship. Niten Ichi-Ryu may be translated as "Two Swords As One" Style. This style focuses on two-handed movements wherein a swordsman uses both a large sword and another sword for assist such as the pairing of a katana with a wakizashi. Some of its techniques also use the Bo or wooden long staff.

Hyoho Niten Ichi-Ryu techniques are drawn from Miyamoto Musashi's experience as a warrior; the things he had learned from his 60 victorious duels and his devotion to Budo or the Way of the Warrior. They are sophisticated but not exaggerated, as the style focuses on techniques to be objective, strong and very efficient so there was no room for unnecessary movements.

Succession did not follow a hereditary pattern. To be considered as the appointed successor, one must have two artifacts. The first is a scroll with the written name of techniques and approaches that must be taught. The second is Musashi's valueable wooden sword, which he had made himself. Musashi trained with this wooden sword and eventually became his walking stick. This sword is now in the city of Usa's Shinto Shrine.

Before Musashi died, he was supposed to pass the art to three successors. They were Terao Magonojo, Terao Kymanosuke and Furuhashi Sozaemon. Terao Magonojo received the Book of Five Rings, Musashi's book about kenjutsu and martial arts. The condition was to read it and burn it. However, Furuhashi borrowed the book for a few days and was ordered by Hosokawa Mitsuhisa to make each of them a copy, which he then named the Ihon Go Rin No Sho.

Terao Kyumanosuke eventually became Musashi's successor after receiving the Hyoho San-jugo and Musashi's two swords. Out of great respect for Musashi, he was hesitant to succeed Musashi at first and refused to teach. He, instead, sent the certification and swords to Iori, Musashi's adopted son. Iori refused this also because of his great respect for Musashi. Iori was not bestowed the honor of succession, another great reason for him why he did not accept the succession. Terao Kyumanosuke (Motomenosuke) eventually accepted to teach Niten Ichi-Ryu after adding seven instructions called the Hyoho shiji ni Kajo.

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